In an interesting post, writer Claude Nougat estimated the total number of books on Amazon – about 3.4 million at last count (a number that could include apps as well) and then figured out how many books were added in a day. Nougat noticed that the number rose by 12 books in an hour, which suggests that one new book is added every five minutes. And, most likely, it’s probably an indie book.
They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release – if the start of the article doesn’t garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading? Deal with actual facts––events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points: Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
The content of the press release, beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.
The headline should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size than the body copy.
First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.
The first paragraph (not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.
The press release body: copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted words.
The last paragraph can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.
Follow up quickly. Don’t send out your news release and forget about it. Call within a day or two to make sure the announcement was received. However, don’t call an editor or reporter when they are on a deadline. When calling, verify that they have time to talk. Be available when a reporter calls and have an “elevator pitch” ready: why your release is important to their readers and viewers.
The “two spaces after period” rule was instituted during the days of typewriters. Typewriters had only one font, so all the letters were monospaced, or took up the same amount of space. That means that the skinny “l” and wider “w” occupied the same amount of space on paper. To make reading easier, the two-space rule was born to give the eyes a break between sentences.
With the dawn of computers, word processing programs not only began offering an absurd number of fonts, but each font was programmed to space characters proportionally (“l” takes up about a third of the space “w” does). In turn, most computer fonts will automatically give you enough room between sentences with one space. So, as a rule of thumb, use just one space when typing up your manuscript on a computer.
There are a couple of exceptions—the fonts Courier and Monaco are still monospaced—but it’s better to stick with one space and switch fonts to Times New Roman or Arial rather than use two spaces.
Aspiring writers learn a lot from the Greats. The forefather of modern fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien has influenced many authors with his Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other works. You can also learn a lot from Tolkien’s life, from studying his habits and techniques that enabled him to write brilliantly.
Today marks the 115th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth. In his lifetime, Papa had quite a lot to say about writing. Here are 18 of our favorite quotes, in no particular order.
As another month comes to an end, here’s a look back at all the beautiful typefaces released during the month of June.
Arthur Rackham was an illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was born in London in 1867. He began studying at the Lambeth School of Art at the age of 18, and soon found his passion and calling. The first of Rackham’s illustrations to be published in a book were in 1893, in The Dolly Dialogues. Rackham never looked back. From that first publication, illustration was his career until the day he died at age 72, of cancer.
In 1905, when Rackham was 38 years old, he created 51 color pieces to accompany Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. The technological advancements necessary to produce color-separated printing was new, and Rackham’s vibrant, lavish style of sumptuous illustration helped propel the edition to the status of instant classic, while simultaneously bringing attention to Rackham and his work, and making a name for him.
Rackham’s pieces were known for their luxurious use of color and keen attention to detail. His styles ranged easily from vivid, bright splashes of color to more muted, subtle tones. He became a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and mastered the watercolor method of painting, seen in many of his works. Many of the books Rackham illustrated include both his black and white, and color plates. Some, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Wonder Book, include Rackham’s experimentation with partially colored prints, similar to the effect seen with Japanese woodblock art.
Much of Rackham’s work depicts gnomes, fairies, goblins or other creatures from mythology, folklore or fable. His work has been an inspiration to many, including film director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and modern illustrator Brian Froud. Beyond the fantastical natural world, Rackham also found inspiration in unusual places, creating his own artistic interpretations of pieces from music and theater, such as Wagner’s operas, or Shakespeare plays.
Whether illustrating whimsical books for children or darker matter for adults, Rackham’s imaginative, brilliant illustration style was highly sought after and enhanced any text it accompanied. Rackham died in 1939, and now, more than 70 years after his death, his work is collectible and beloved. Children and adults alike take pleasure in the unique, beautiful art he provided for some of the world’s greatest stories.